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THE BATTLE OF VERDUN
Transcript of THE BATTLE OF VERDUN
BY: SARA BARRETT 8B
The Battle of Verdun caught the French by surprise, it took place from February 21 to December 18, 1916. This was the longest battle in World War I, it latest 300 days. Verdun was an ancient fortress and was one of the oldest cities in France. The war started when German troops attacked French positions near Verdun.
The battle of Verdun completely caught the French by surprise. Their General was very secretive and shared little with his staff. Their leaders were Philippe Petain, and Robert Nivelle.
Their were around 700,000 people who were dead, wounded, or missing.
The war was projected to be won by the Germans, but French forces held strong; both sides suffered heavy loses which completely changed how the rest of the war was approached. In the end the French won. The battle became a symbol of French determination, inspired by the sacrifice of the defenders.
German leaders were Erich von Falkenhayn, and Crown Prince Wilhelm. Germany fired two million shells in the opening 8 hour bombardment.
The French kept up defense of Verdun thanks to a "sacred" road. Political reasons and public sentiment made it impossible for the French to retreat from Verdun.
German forces seized a crucial French fort without firing a shot.
The battle left nine French towns in total ruins.
France had 400,000- 542,000 casualties, 163,000 of those casualties were death. Germany had 355,000- 434,000 casualties, 143,000 of those were deaths.
1,250,000 soldiers (50 divisions)
1,140,000 soldiers (75 divisions)